Tarmac Delay

A few isolated incidents involving air carrier irregular operations have necessitated governmental intervention into the area of passengers’ rights. Occasionally, situations can arise where ground (tarmac) delays occur either before takeoff or after landing. Takeoff delays could be caused by severe weather in the departure area or air traffic congestion, while delays after landing are usually a result of ramp congestion and/or poor gate utilization. Because of a few extreme cases where passengers have been “trapped” on an aircraft for hours on the ground, the FAA developed rules that airlines must follow in the event that an extended tarmac delay occurs. Airlines guilty of violating those rules face very stiff penalties in the form of fines.

Read Tarmac Delays/FAA,
(Links to an external site.)
and then review the associated 14 CFR rules at Electronic Code of Federal Regulations/Government Publishing Office.
(Links to an external site.)

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Search online, and choose one of many examples where an airline was fined for violating the FAA’s Tarmac Delay rules. (You might try the website Air Consumer Protection – Flight Delays/DOT.
(Links to an external site.)
Scroll down to “Enforcement Orders,” and you can see various tarmac delay violation information.) In a short paper, critically analyze the situation, and make recommendations that might have mitigated the predicament. Your paper should start with a recap of the circumstances that caused the delay.

Be sure to address these questions in your analysis:

Were there avoidable operational breakdowns at the OCC or the local station – or was this an unavoidable situation?
Once involved in the delay, did the airline do anything to mitigate the impact on the passengers?
Would greater use of NextGen technologies (as described in the FAA video included in the module resources) have improved the situation?

Your paper should conclude with your recommendations on how the situation could have been better managed.

Your paper will include a title page, 2–3 pages of text, and a reference page – all APA formatted. An abstract and table of contents are not needed for a paper this short.

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